Immunity & Superfoods: The 5 Best Superfoods For Immunity
We often look for natural and healthy ways to improve our immunity. Of course, because none of us like the concept of falling ill/sick and want to live a long and healthy life. One way to achieve this – boost our immunity!
We commonly hear that diet and exercise play an important role in immunity. But what should our diet exactly include? ‘Superfoods’ is one such term that has been going around lately. Let us understand what these superfoods are and how they help in boosting our immunity.
What are superfoods?
Superfoods are natural foods which have high nutrient value with essential vitamins and minerals. They provide maximum health benefits with minimum calories for healthy functioning of the body. They are specially known for their immunity-boosting properties.
How do these superfoods enhance immunity?
One of the main properties of these immunity-boosting superfoods is their antioxidant nature. Sometimes the body produces certain unstable molecules called free radicals which are harmful for the body. These free radicals are causative factors of a number of diseases. Antioxidants act by attacking the free radicals. Therefore, they are necessary to prevent any damage that may be caused by these free radicals.
Most superfoods for a strong immune system contain vital vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, Zinc, proteins, beta-carotenes etc. All of which play a major role in boosting immunity through the following ways:
Vitamin A: helps in maintaining healthy skin which is the primary defence mechanism against any disease.
Vitamin B: helps in producing antibodies against infections.
Vitamin C: helps provide antioxidant effects.
Vitamin D: helps to enhance the action of immune cells such as T-cells, B-cells, etc.
Vitamin E: helps to improve the formation of white blood cells and antibodies.
Zinc: helps provide antioxidant effects and improves absorption of nutrients.
Most people may be wondering which superfoods to include in their diet, apart from their routine eating habits.
Let us look at five best superfoods for immunity you may consider adding in your daily diet:
1. Gain the berry power with Gooseberries
Gooseberries are small green coloured fruits which are low in calories and high in nutrients. A small portion can provide you with high health benefits. They are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin E and other micronutrients which help in improving immunity. No wonder it tops the list of immune-boosting superfoods.
Gooseberries contain compounds called flavonols which are effective against viruses and prevent infections. Gooseberries as superfoods can be eaten as raw fruits or you may drink it as a juice.
2. Borrow the super power from ‘Honey’ bees
Honey is specifically known for multiple health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants and has excellent antibacterial and antifungal properties. It has commonly been used to relieve symptoms of cough, cold and sore throat. These symptoms usually occur due to low immunity.
Honey also plays an essential role in maintaining a balance of the gut bacteria which helps to enhance immunity.
3. Brew some Green tea
Green tea is known for its highly effective antioxidant properties. It helps in eliminating toxins from the body and gives you an energized, rejuvenated feeling.
This superfood green tea contains natural compounds called polyphenols and catechins which play a major role in boosting your immunity. They help in reducing oxidative stress, which is one of the major causes of heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, etc. These compounds also help in suppressing viral and bacterial activities to prevent various infections.
4. Sample some health-boosting Spirulina
Spirulina is a type of naturally growing blue-green algae, available in the form of a supplement for human consumption. You may find it in a powder, liquid or capsule form.
Spirulina contains phycocyanin as its active component. It is a powerful antioxidant packed with essential nutrients to enhance the production of immune cells in the body. These powerful compounds in spirulina also help in developing antibodies to fight off infections caused by bacteria, virus and fungi. Thus, taking spirulina regularly can boost the immune system and help you fight illnesses more effectively.
5. Dig into some flavourful Quinoa
Quinoa is a pseudo-grain; it is actually a seed, which is used as a grain.
Quinoa is a superfood in true sense, with high amounts of good quality proteins, fibres, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants, in addition to being low on glycaemic index. In addition, it is gluten-free and easily digestible. Regular consumption of this superfood can keep that additional weight at bay, promote heart health, and improve general health and well-being.
Consuming these superfoods along with a healthy balanced diet and physical exercise is an excellent way to improve your immunity. Make these superfoods a part of your daily diet and reap the health benefits that the nature offers you!